Elke Corporation was founded in 1978 by Bob Nelson and Tony Phillippi, at the request of IBM. With the introduction of IBM "mid-range" computers in the 2nd half of the seventies, there was a significant need for "packaged" software systems. IBM and Bob's collaboration actually dates back to 1962 when the S.J. Groves Highway Construction Company first computerized their asset management operations. Bob started his Groves career as a parts man, mechanic and eventually vice president of equipment. When Bob retired from Groves in the early seventies, Groves had grown to become the nation's largest builder of interstate highways and Caterpillar's largest customer. It has often been said: "If you travel an interstate highway, east of the Mississippi, it is likely that Bob built it." Many consider Bob Nelson as the "visionary of the original Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) industry."
Partnering With IBM
The Elke Main/Tracker system initially operated on the IBM system 34. Throughout the 1980s Main/Tracker was migrated to the 36, 38, AS/400 and iSeries platforms. In 1986, Elke joined the IBM Business Partners program and went on to become one of IBM's most valued Partners. In the early 90s, the Elke Main/Tracker System was recognized as the most widely used EAM system on the IBM Midrange platform. Main/Tracker had over 2,500 systems installed worldwide and was used in over 20 industries.
Renamed to BPCS
In 1993, System Software Associates (SSA) realized the need to incorporate an asset management solution into its "suite of ERP products known as BPCS," and acquired Elke. Elke's Main/Tracker was renamed to BPCS Plant Maintenance at that time. In 2000, SSA was acquired by Gores Technology to become SSA Global Technologies. In 2006, Infor acquired SSA and are the current owners of IBMi EAM. In the last 25 years, several hundred new companies have joined the EAM install base. Today, with the continued support of Infor, the EAM product is still considered a "Best of Breed" solution and continues to be the most widely used EAM system on the IBMi platform.